ArticleDownload Worksheet March 7th, 2013
Kenyans Vote in Tense Presidential Elections
Millions of Kenyans stood in long lines March 4 to vote in the country’s first presidential election in six years with memories of the violence that followed the last vote.
In 2007-8, more than 1,000 people died due to fighting between different ethnic groups and tribes after disputed presidential elections.
Since then, changes within Kenyan society have eased tensions to a certain extent. Kenya’s press, considered one of the more free in the region, made efforts to put each candidate’s profile and policy reputation on display. There also was a televised presidential debate in Kenya, the first of its kind.
Still, many Kenyans took precautions, emptying out food markets and staying out of ethnically mixed areas.
A race between two prominent sons
The two frontrunners for president are current Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta.
The rivalry between the Odingas and Kenyattas goes back to the beginning of the republic in 1963 when Odinga’s father Jaramogi served briefly as vice president under Jomo Kenyatta before disagreeing with the government and resigning.
Ethnic divisions typically have driven most decision making in Kenya’s political system. The Kenyan military is largely made up of Kenyatta’s ethnic group, raising concerns that if Odinga wins, the military might prevent him from taking office.
Close election could lead to run-off
The current president, Mwai Kibaki, was not allowed to run again, due to term limits. Odinga, who ran against Kibaki in 2007 and lost, said that foul play and vote rigging cost him that election and warned that he will not be cheated again.
Uhuru Kenyatta is currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for inciting the violence that followed the 2007 election.
Kenya’s complicated election laws increase the chance that there will have to be a runoff in April.
A presidential candidate must win more than 50 percent of the total votes cast, as well as 25 percent of the votes cast in more than half of all 47 counties.
The results are still being tallied. With about half of the votes counted, Kenyatta seems to hold the lead, but the two sides continue to argue about hundreds of thousands of questionable votes.
–Compiled by Ibrahim Balkhy for NewsHour Extra
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Tweets from classes on Inauguration Day
High school students traveled from across the U.S. to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration on…Donald TrumpGovernment & CivicsinaugurationSocial Studies
Donald Trump sworn in as 45th president
At noon on Friday, Donald Trump was sworn into office by Chief Justice John Roberts on the steps of the United States Capitol Building.Donald TrumpGovernment & CivicsInauguration DayU.S. presidency
How to watch Inauguration Day 2017 with your students
On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Find out where to watch the events with your class. Continue readingGovernment & CivicsinaugurationPresidency
Education nominee Betsy DeVos faces questions on school choice
The confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, saw many questions about her support of school choice and charters. Continue readingBetsy DeVosDonald Trumpeducation
STUDENT VOICE: Trump’s cabinet is disaster for climate change fight
A Maryland high school student shares her concerns about climate policy in the upcoming Trump administration. Continue readingclimate changeDonald Trumpenvironmental issuesParis AgreementScott PruittStudent Voicesustainability